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Dec 16, 2003
Canada Ammends Transitional Regulations for Selecting Skilled Workers
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The Honourable Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced on December 3, 2003 the important amendments to the transitional regulations pertaining to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The amendments, originally proposed on September 18, 2003, take into account comments received from various groups and the Federal Court. The proposed regulations were prepublished in the Canada Gazette on October 11, 2003.

The amendments will allow federal economic class applicants who filed their application for permanent residence before January 1, 2002, to be assessed against the selection criteria of the former regulations or those of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, whichever are more favourable. In cases where the results are not positive, the application will automatically be reassessed under the selection criteria of the other regulations.

"Canada is committed to the continual improvement of our immigration program," said the Minister. "These changes reflect the core principles on which it is based: fairness, openness and flexibility."

The federal economic classes affected are skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed people. The applications are divided into four groups: withdrawn applications, refused applications, pending or in-progress applications and applications referred back by the court.

The new provisions do not apply to people who submitted their applications on or after January 1, 2002. By that date, the new selection criteria, which were made public on December 17, 2001, and that could be used to assess their applications had already been prepublished. Neither do the new regulations apply to provincial nominees or applicants for permanent residence in the province of Quebec under provisions of the Canada-Quebec Accord. The Accord gives Quebec sole responsibility for the selection of immigrants destined for the province.

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